Effective steps being taken to control drug abuse: Amir Mehmood

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 14 (APP):Expressing concern over the increasing incidences of drug abuse among the students, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Amir Mehmood Kiani has said that the government was committed to wipe out the menace of drug abuse and multi-pronged strategy has been adopted to accomplish this task.Talking in a Radio current affair programme , the health minister stressed the need for close coordination among NGOs working against drug addiction, while the print and electronic media were called upon to create awareness among the masses.
	He said Pakistan currently has the largest population of youth and the total population 64 per cent is below the age of 30, and 29 per cent is between the ages of 15-29 years. 
	The involvement of the youth in drugs will also have economic impact besides being hazardous to health, he mentioned. 
	Minister said the prime focus of the government is eradication of drugs as the strength of this nation is the people, adds, But they have to be mentally healthy”.
	Amir Mehmood further explained , the previous governments did not address the issue of drugs in educational institution but our government will have special focus on this issue and we will introduce certain legislation in this regard.
	“We need to stop overlooking this issue, drugs kill and we need to fight them, when our children take drugs, it has an impact on their lives and can lead to death and can also hinder other aspects of economic development of the country.” he said.
	 “There is a need of partnership with all concerned institutions to implement the national strategies to fight against drug abuse, transportation and trafficking, everybody should also feel concerned for a society free of drugs,” he appealed. 
	Mehmood Kiani said the government has also decided to conduct blood screening of students of both public and private sector educational institutions once a year to address their health issues.
	He said that medical equipment should also be provided to educational institutions to identify students using drugs.
	 All the higher education institutions whether public or private, will have to abide by the government’s instructions to keep their students safe from drugs, he said.
	 Educational institutions should adopt a zero tolerance policy and keep close liaison with the police to keep students safe from drugs, he said, asking parents to sensitize their children about the hazards of drugs from early childhood, he added.